Under a National Science Foundation grant that supports research on activated nanoparticles in polymers, monthly science club meetings continued during 2012 for high school students at the Texas School for the Deaf (TSD). TSD staff member Theresa Johnson and high school science teacher Michelle Halvorsen worked with TMI staff member Risa Hartman to recruit club members. In 2012, areas of exploration included polymers, nanotechnology, homemade motors, hydro-electric turbines, and static electricity.
With the help of an American Sign Language Interpretor, graduate students introduced the high school students to the exciting world of polymers through experiments with slime, disposable diapers, and gaviscon snakes. Another graduate student, Hee Jeung Oh, led the group in a discussion about electric motors, after which the students created their very own “no frills motor,” using only wire, a battery, magnets, and electrical tape. The students also enjoyed putting together a hydro-electric turbine, making nano ice cream, and experimenting with solar powered energy toys. Plans are underway to add a middle school science club in 2013 to allow more TSD students access to enrichment activities in science, engineering, and technology.